One of the best linear story driven single player shooter of all times.
I remember playing the game when I was a teenager and couldn’t understand English at all. I fired up Half – Life on my old PC and begun exploring Black Mesa facility which is located somewhere in New Mexico.
I didn’t read the whole lore or any other side stories when I first started playing, instead I was roleplaying in my own way according to my own observations and believes. Knowing Gordon Freeman is a scientist just going to work in an ordinary fashion meeting colleagues, uttering few words here and there I was like wow this is awesome first game that has a proper introduction where you can explore a little bit of Black Messa even before the main event kicks in. Then you actually go and participate in an experiment that merges two dimensions together, pushing a trolley with yellow crystal atop into some kind of device. Explosion, confusion, yellow lightning storm going on, your fellow scientists screaming and trying to hide, run away. This catastrophe comes into play after 10 – 15 minutes of foreplay that sees you familiarizing with the environment and the facility. Remember, this first episode of Half – Life was published in 1998 introducing new style of playing, graphics and basically established new standards for first person shooters. And the atmosphere partly horror partly survival then switches into fast pace action….awesome experience. The pace of the whole game is generally smooth. Boring at times especially when it comes down to puzzles.
So after the accident Gordon Freeman which is you, the main protagonist tries to get to the surface in order to call for help. But there are aliens pouring through the portal from another dimension (dimension called out Xen) everywhere. You fight your way trough the mess encountering security guards desperately firing all they have to kill the aliens (not always successful). On your journey you also encounter one of the mysterious antagonists named G-Man. As you progress further you come across army unit called Hazardous Environment Unit which is a special forces task force from Marine Corps. At first you think they could help you out but one of the soldiers kills an innocent scientist which you see from distance so then you resolve not to contact them. And of course you are force to fight them, then later on you learn that they are there to not only kill the alien life form but also everyone within the Black Messa facility.
Now I will stop here and encourage you to play this gem that meant so much for the gaming scene.
Other episodes in the series
1998 – Half-Life
2001 – Half-Life Blue Shif
2004 – Half-Life 2
2005 – Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
2006 – Half-Life 2: Episode One
2007 – Half-Life 2: Episode Two